Evolving food consumption patterns of rural and urban households in developing countries: A Bangladesh case
Purpose Population and income are growing rapidly in South Asia, spurring the demand for food in general, and the demand for higher-valued food items in particular. This poses particular food security challenges for densely populated and emerging countries, such as Bangladesh. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the increasing and changing cereal consumption pattern in developing countries using Bangladesh as a case. Design/methodology/approach Using Bangladesh’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2000, 2005a, b data, and applying a two-stage quadratic almost ideal system estimation procedure, the present study separately estimates the expenditure elasticities for rural and urban households for five food items: rice, wheat and rice and wheat products, pulses, fish and vegetables. Second, using the estimated elasticities, projected population and the per capita GDP growth rates, this study projects the consumption of the sampled food items by 2030. Findings This study demonstrates that in 2030 both rural and urban households in Bangladesh will consume more wheat, pulses and fish, but the urban households will consume less rice compared to the current levels of consumption in 2015. Originality/value To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study on developing countries that examines the evolving food items consumption separately by rural and urban households. Using Bangladesh as a case, this study warns that with rapid urbanization and income growth, developing countries need to supply more wheat, fish and pulses. The provision of the maximum usage of scarce resources, such as arable land, the development and dissemination of improved varieties and the best management practices must be ensured to boost domestic food production in developing countries to cater to the future evolving food consumption.